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November 24, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Intel Corp and Microsoft Corp have come to an agreement over how to integrate sound and graphics capabilities into future personal computers. Intel has been promoting its Native Signal Processing, which sets a series of library calls and application programming interface which would enable developers to shift more signal processing functions from specialised signal processors directly onto the Pentium processor. Meanwhile Microsoft was working to integrate similar functions into Windows95, again through code libraries and programming interfaces. Intel, however, was working on the assumption that Windows 3.1 was the preferred operating system. Finally, Intel agreed to delay publishing its specification until Windows95 was launched. Intel has now completed its revised specification, dubbed the New Baseline Target Platform and due for publication in the first quarter of next year. Along with updated programming interfaces for Internet access, it will include the interfaces for which Microsoft was pushing to enable the software to perform sound processing functions. It will be incorporated into Pentium-and-above processors from next year. We believe certain capabilities should be resident on each machine to be shipped – a baseline level of signal processing – but we also believe that just because the baseline is there doesn’t mean people won’t want to add a card of they want, for example, intensive sound processing, said a spokesman. One interesting question, though, is why Intel was working towards integration with Windows 3.1 when the rest of the world was preparing for Windows95. According to Intel, it was simply that it started work on Native Signal Processing so long ago that Windows95 was still only a gleam in Bill Gates’s eye.

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